Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011!

Coincidentally, exactly a year ago today I was in a hotel room in Columbia, MO typing out a blog post while Addie napped. Here I am, once again doing the same thing in the same place.

What happened to December? I posted on December first with the full intention of chronicling our month and preparations for Christmas. I discovered long ago that even our best laid plans can be thrown for a loop, which is okay, just not quite what I'd anticipated. 

Saying Addie loved her advent calendar and 25 days of crafts for Christmas would be an understatement. She asked for both every day, multiple times a day. Just one of the many crafts we've put together (and pulled apart, and put back together, and pulled apart and put back together...):

It's been fun seeing Addie's interpretation of where some of the figures are placed on each of the crafts.

She's also spent plenty of time redecorating the tree.

I haven't been too picky about the decorations this year, as long as she is playing with Addie-safe ornaments. This usually consists of the ones she's made, anyway, and she really enjoys taking the ones she's made on and off the tree.

A week ago the three of us celebrated our little Chaney Christmas. As part of our celebration, Addie opened a gift from my mom (Mimi). Mimi was giving her a dollhouse, which is too cumbersome to tote back to Florida from Illinois.

I think our opening presents photos are on our other camera, but just know that Addie was a pro and was a present opening champ. She's going to have a lot of fun these next couple of days!

You may notice that Sabian got a hair cut. 

Last year it was No Shave November for Speed the Light. You might remember the results of Sabian's challenge to raise $75 to meet our fundraising goal. This year he proposed a similar challenge, although the stakes were higher - $500 and he'd shave his head. They raised half. As I was counting the money, I won't lie, I breathed a slight sigh of relief, thinking my husband was going to keep his head of hair. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about supporting our missionaries, but was okay with $250 and all of his hair. Then he announces he'll shave some of to me. He let as many kids as wanted to chop a lock of hair with scissors before the clippers came out. Brave? More like questionable sanity. The clippers came out and, unbeknownst to Sabe, our "friend" who was supposed to do a "good" job on his hair was convinced to shave the shape of a cross on his head, which, because he is the guy he is, he kept for two days so he could visit the kids at school and they'd be able to see it. Later, our "friend's" wife came to our house and fixed the cross.

I don't mind the cut, but let's just say Addie has been less than thrilled with her new Daddy. If I had the video handy, I'd post it, but she wouldn't have anything to do with him until later after we got home. In fact, she still tells him often, "Daddy, I don't like your hair cut," and the other day when I told her I was going for a hair cut she was more than a little concerned.

The day we had our Chaney Christmas was also the same day as Wewa's Christmas parade, where Addie acquired Halloween proportions of candy.

Addie was not impressed by the clowns but was all about candy and beads.

While December didn't yield quite all of the activities I'd planned, it's been a fun month and we're having fun with family and looking forward to more festivities with more family and friends.

Speaking of, Addie is up and Sabian and his mom are on their way.

Merry Christmas and Happy 2012! I am thankful for our year, for our family and friends, for the things God has taught us and blessed us with and for the things God has in store for us.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The 25 Days of Christmas

Aaaand, we're off! Launching into December, that is. December. Crazy.

I was reading over my last few posts last night and it seems we've made quite a few visits to the beach over the past few weeks. I didn't realize we'd been hitting it up as much as we were. Maybe, unaware, we were preparing for the cooler weather we're having by stocking up on beach time. Surely it will warm up again soon and we can visit the beach again without freezing. I know, I know, many of you are lamenting my sorrows. Boo hoo us for living so close to the white sands and blue waves.

I suspect these next three weeks will speed by and then we'll be off to the Midwest to celebrate Christmas with our families. I'm looking forward to our trip but also anticipating the fun we'll have here before we make that 12 hour drive.

Our countdown to Christmas actually started yesterday when my friend Lee Ann dropped off an incredibly sweet, thoughtful package, one that Addie could not wait to get her hands in once it was in her possession.

A bag full of Christmas crafts, one for each of the 25 days of Christmas. We started yesterday, since the goal is to complete the last one on Christmas Eve. Addie was so excited to get into it.

She was ready to move right on to the next project when I explained to her we'd do another the next day. We have yet to get to it today and she's already asked multiple times. I love that she is so excited about it and am thankful for friends like Lee Ann (and her mother-in-law!) who are thoughtful about sharing their creativity with us.

We're also starting our advent calendar today. For the last couple of years I've searched for advent calendars and found many I liked, but wasn't willing to shell out the $$$ for them. I made our own last year, but was a little (a lot) late in having it ready for December 1st. This year I modified it and sprayed the background of our board with chalkboard paint so I could write the numbers on the board. I never found any numbers that I liked to actually stick on the board. The paint has worked out fine.

Lo and behold, in my indecisive mind, I found another calendar this year that would be really easy to make and would be cute (and not a lot of money), but I'm sticking with this one for now. Maybe in a couple of years I'll try the other one. I think Addie will be excited to start this tradition.

We are even ahead on Christmas gifts and I have only to buy stocking stuffers for Sabian and he for me. The last two years we've exchanged personalized coupon books. This year we're exchanging stocking stuffers and then some time after Christmas we're planning days to take one another out as a delayed Christmas present.

I'm even about to start working on getting our Christmas cards out, but I'll post separately about those. I really enjoy sending out cards to our friends and family but sometimes it is hard to work them into the budget. This is due in part to my pickiness  - I like awesome Christmas cards. This year the way our cards worked out is something I am really thankful for, and I will share soon about it.

I guess knowing we are leaving for Christmas spurs on my organization when it comes to Christmas. I know if I leave everything to the last minute things may not get done before we leave, so I try to stay on top of it. I'm not always so successful but so far, so good! Here's to counting down the days 'til Christmas...

I am thankful for a little alone time this afternoon!